The [Friday] Papers
"Though Democrats control the House, Senate and governor's office, the party's iron grip on power turned arthritic Thursday when it failed to pass a state budget, dropped the ball on utility rate relief and lurched the gridlocked legislature toward overtime," the Sun-Times nicely summarizes for us this morning.
"Among the potential casualties from the party's stunning Statehouse implosion were consumers facing skyrocketing power bills, homeowners coping with soaring property taxes and uninsured Illinoisans banking on Gov. Blagojevich's stalled universal health insurance plan.
"'I've been in this building through five governors, and this is the most rudderless ship of Illinois government I've ever seen,' said Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale)."
A faithful reader adds Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher to the short-list of state chief executives worse than Blagojevich. The other is Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons. But Rod still has time. After all, there's that pending indictment.
NBC's Brian Williams spent his day in Chicago on Thursday and anchored his evening news program from here. Local affiliate Channel 5 then spent a good portion of the top of its newscast following Williams around and interviewing such fascinating colleagues as the producer who assured us that just because Williams was in Chicago, major news such as developments in Iraq wouldn't be forgotten. Whew.
Over at Channel 2, Antonio Mora gasped with awe that the mayor had delivered "an impressive new weapon" to the Chicago Police Department: a $2.1 million helicopter secured with Homeland Security funds.
I'm pretty sure that's a waste of money, but I don't know for certain because there's no evidence Channel 2 - or anyone else - bothered to do any reporting to flesh it out.
Fran Spielman retypes the press release.
Barack Obama's campaign sent out an e-mail claiming that the candidate's health care proposal "guarantees coverage for every American," with Obama himself saying "My plan begins by covering every American."
Funny, but I had just read how it doesn't. In his own words.
Worse, by my reading of it, Obama's plan takes care (sort of) those most in need last.
"Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama is on a fund-raising binge," Lynn Sweet reports.
Obama has scheduled fundraisers nearly every day for the next month.
$12 million corruption tax approved.
"At an unrelated event Thursday, Daley was less than enthusiastic about discussing the topic with reporters," the Tribune reports. "Asked why the latest, anti-patronage push would succeed where previous efforts have flopped, the mayor would only say that 'it's going to work.' Pressed to say why he thought so, Daley repeated the same one-sentence answer."
"Records that Chicago postal workers use to deliver the mail contain more than 84,000 errors - one of the major reasons mail delivery in the city is such a mess, postal officials told a congressional subcommittee Thursday," the Tribune reports.
"Faulty records, outdated equipment, poor supervision and the 'overall work culture' were among the explanations provided for the decline of Chicago's mail operation."
I know of a helicopter that maybe they could use.
Opposite of Faith
"The crashing sound you just heard was Jesus banging his head against the wall of his office," Cathleen Falsani writes.
Sweet and Sour Lou
Is Lou Piniella considering quitting? Or does he just want to take a nap?
This Week in Beachwood
What you may have missed.
* Scott Buckner tours downtown Chicago.
* New taxicab reviews.
* Reviewing the book reviews.
* This week's Cub Factor.
* And from the archives: A Trademark Checklist.
That's all for today, watch for the Weekend Desk Report tomorrow and I'll be back on Monday.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Nice and easy.
Posted on June 1, 2007